Former Santa Cruz City Employee and 33 Others Killed in Tragic Boat Fire

We’ve got the latest updates on that tragic fire that occurred early Monday morning aboard the Conception, a 75-foot diving vessel off the coast of Southern California near Santa Cruz Island.

Search teams have located all but one body. The fire killed 34 people. There are just five survivors — four crew members and a captain.

An investigation is still underway, but one of the survivors has told reporters he believes a cell phone charging station could have sparked the blaze.

The Santa Cruz City Manager’s Office issued a statement after learning that one of the city’s former employees, Kristy Finstad, was among those killed.

The City of Santa Cruz joins the nation in mourning the tragic fire that destroyed the dive boat Conception off of the Ventura Coast Monday morning.

Kristina Finstad, a former City of Santa Cruz employee, is one of those listed as missing. Kristina Finstad worked for the City of Santa Cruz's Water Department as a half-time employee from 2005-2015 while assisting with her family's dive business. Kristina worked in Water Resources, as part of a team responsible for watershed health and protection, as well as education programs. Kristina was a gifted interpreter of natural resources, and often led Department programs. In 2015, she left her work for the City to pursue the family business full time.

“The horrific incident is being felt deeply by our community,” Mayor Martine Watkins added. “We are in disbelief at what has happened and our hearts go out the families of all of those who are waiting for news on their loved ones."


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